The Domesday Book says there was a Church on the site in 1086, presumably a timber one. Historians say that the fact that the Churchyard is circular suggests that it was a burial site even before Christian times.
The font by the door has been dated to 1175 and so has survived more than 800 years - including almost 300 years when it was walled up. It was probably hidden during the Reformation. The Church had another font, dated 1686, so that was given to Towyn - the original one, now by the door, was re-mounted in the 1930s in memory of a long-serving Vicar, the Rev. David Griffiths.
The oldest part of the present Church, at the rear or west end, was built in the 1200s and the walls are unusually thick because they needed to keep out soldiers who were plundering and pillaging the village. The twin windows there are splayed to let in light but to keep out intruders.
On the "sea" side in Meliden's tiny Church is an alcove that houses bookshelves. But what many people in the weekly congregation don't know is that the archway is a blocked-up doorway, built originally to let the devil creep out. The 'Devil's Doorway' is one of the many secret features of the historic Church.
Meliden is used to making do and mending. The pulpit, for example, was made out of the tiny doors that used to close off the ends of the pews - the hinge-marks are still visible. And another secret is the vicar's 'perch'. It's a misericord, a small, half-seat, higher than usual, that takes the weight off the preacher during a lengthy sermon!
One of the features of the Church is the burial register - a photocopy, for the flimsy originals are in the county records office. Many of the entries are for sailors drowned off the nearby coast, and many of them were unknown.
When the Churchyard wall was renovated a few years ago, a surprising number of skeletons were found beneath. It was generally supposed that these were individuals who had 'sold their soul' to the Devil, and who sought to escape their debt by being buried neither in nor out of consecrated ground.
We invite you to join us.
The Vicar of Meliden is:
The Rev'd John Harvey
Telephone 01745 856220
To arrange Marriages and Holy Baptisms and to discuss other non-urgent pastoral matters please contact the Vicar, (Tel: 01745 856220) for an appointment.